Exercise and Baby Boomers: Move. Relax. Be still. Repeat. (... and reap the rewards!).

Exercise regularly, doing a physical activity you enjoy,

to maintain and/or improve your health and fitness.

If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
— Leon Eldred

For some of us, the above quote if funny, and for others – perhaps not! As we age, the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle is more important than ever, as I have found both personally now that I am in my fifties, and through the clients I help as a fitness and health coach. The bottom line is: most people want to live a productive and satisfying life. This can be challenging for those who are managing an illness or dealing with the “normal” declines in health as we age. Typically, when people stop moving, they become weak. The good news is:  there are many ways to get more active – and it is never too late!

 

Jami Hanna and Vicki Whaley, both 53, mountain biking in Moab, UT.

Jami Hanna and Vicki Whaley, both 53, mountain biking in Moab, UT.

As with any new endeavor, you have to start somewhere. The key is to identify activities that you enjoy and then reap the rewards and health benefits – both physically and mentally! The benefits of physical activity are well documented: it improves blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis – not to mention improved mood, better self-esteem and enhanced cognitive function! Staying active helps reduce the risk of falling and fractured bones. Another benefit of exercise is the social aspect – you can bring joy into your life by meeting new people who are interested in the same activities. If transportation is an issue, many coaches offer online services, videos, and forums to help bring fitness right into your home.

 

Since the goal of most aging adults is to remain independent for as long as possible, staying active is a must. Anything you can do to increase your functional capacity – or your ability to perform daily activities such as walking around the block, climbing stairs, or shopping - will help you to lead a more productive and satisfying life!

 

Jami Hanna, BS, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Owner of Jami’s Fit for Life, specializes in training and coaching Baby Boomers and can be reached at jamisfitforlife@gmail.com. In the next blog, we will explore in more detail the benefits of exercise and the brain and how it relates to cognitive functioning. Fitness-induced benefits may surprise you! (*Always consult a physician before engaging in a new physical activity.)